Escarole is a fairly new lettuce for me. The first time I had it in a salad was at John’s parents when we were dating. His mom made it for lunch topped with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sliced avocado. It’s a bitter green, so took some getting used to for me, but I’ve grown to love it. It’s nice to mix it up instead of having arugula and kale all of the time!
I came across this recipe when I purchased the franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian Cookbook. It featured all of the ingredients I love in a salad dressing – lemon, Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil and pepper – I was sold. Their recipe does call for Meyer lemon, but I used regular lemon here. The Parmigiano Reggiano gives the dressing a nice creaminess, and the lemon and pepper gives it a bit of spiciness too. But all together, the dressing provides a delicious balance to the bitterness of the escarole.
The recipe does make a good amount of dressing, but you can store in the refrigerator for up to one week. The extra dressing would be perfect to top on roasted veggies and potatoes too!
- 1 head escarole, washed, dried and torn into pieces
- Zest of 3 lemons
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (plus more for serving)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- In a food processor, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmigiano Reggiano, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend for 1 minute
- While motor is running, slowly add the olive oil
- In a large bowl, toss the escarole with about ⅔ of the dressing (or enough until well coated for your taste)
- Top with extra shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano and serve
- Extra dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week